Caveat: Tree #1698 “In an anthropomorphized manner”

This tree expected the sun to set, in an anthropomorphized manner.

A dirt road in Southeast Alaska with trees lining either side, and the setting sun touching the tops of a few

I had a very stressful day.

This was due to a conversation with Arthur, this morning, at airport after seeing his brother Alan off. We had driven into town for the early flight at Klawock Airport, and I’m sure that in Arthur’s reasoning, it would have been helpful for him to drop me and for him to come get me from work later – saving me a trip out to the house to drop him off and come back. He was just trying to be helpful, at first, and forgetting (as he so often does) his disabilities, or the years elapsed since their onset.

Arthur: I can drive. I’ll drop you at your work in town and come back later to pick you up.

Me: You haven’t driven in 4 years. I’m not really comfortable with you driving.

Arthur: I can drive fine.

Me: I told you before, you’re free to drive, but I don’t want to ride with you. I don’t feel safe.

Arthur: (blank look)

Me: Four years ago, when we were driving to town, we had an incident where basically you seemed you forgot you were driving. You were trying to multitask, digging around in your pocket, and we went into a ditch slightly. I got scared. I told you I didn’t want to ride with you when you were driving after that.

Arthur: I don’t remember that happening.

Me: I’ve told you about it many times since then, but yes, you’ve forgotten. That doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.

Arthur: (a confrontational look, right at me) I think you’re making that up.

Me: Why would I make that up? What reason?

Arthur: (Angrily) I don’t know!

Anyway, I think with all the guests we’ve had over the past several weeks, this broader social context has “stirred Arthur up,” in the sense that he’s suddenly feeling more constrained by his lifestyle than his usual pattern of disregard and lethargy. I also think with my recent increased responsibilities at the store (and his financial loan) has got him feeling more “entitled” at some level to concessions on my part. In principal, this makes sense.

I understand where this is coming from, but frankly it terrifies me. Although this is maybe the third time he’s directly accused me of making up a memory of something that happened as a way to thwart what he expects to happen, this is the first time it’s been about such a serious subject – the previous times were about whether we’d watched a certain TV show episode before, or bought something or not at the store. I’m not sure how to handle this. Especially in the context of the other stuff happening right now.

Later, after I cooled off some, I tried to talk about it more. But he then he kept wanting to change the subject. He did say at one point “I want more access to the car.”

I reiterated what I’d told him before: “I won’t tie you down and prevent you from driving, but I won’t ride with you. And with what’s happening with the store, I realize you have less access to the car than usual.”

So now I’m thinking – maybe I need to buy a car. Just so he has the car sitting there in the driveway, to assuage his sense of abstract liberty – I suspect strongly that he won’t actually use it. That would be the same as with the boat: I’ve told him many times that he’s free to go out on his own in his boat, too – how can I prohibit that? I only reiterate that I think it’s not safe. And he’s never done. Perhaps he’d do the same with the car, sitting in the driveway?

CaveatDumpTruck Logo[daily log: walking, 4km; retailing, 9hr]

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